Bukit Batok Town Park is a nature park located in the precinct of Guilin in the town of Bukit Batok, Singapore. The park was created from a disused granite quarry. As such, it has a resemblance to the granite rock formations in Guilin, China. Hence it is also known as Little Guilin or Xiao Guilin (Chinese: 小桂林) among the locals.
Also known as Xiao Guilin and little Guilin among the locals because it looks similar to that of Guilin in ChinaBukit Batok Town Park was originally a disused granite quarry. In fact, the name "Bukit Batok" has been suggested to be derived from the noise made by the blasting in the granite quarry that now form the natural surroundings of the park.
Together with the neighbouring Bukit Batok Nature Park, it occupies 77 ha of land in the planning area of Bukit Batok. It encompasses Bukit Gombak, Hong Kah, Brickworks, Hillview, and also Bukit Batok itself. Before being designated as a park, in 1984, the Housing and Development Board had originally intended to fill the quarry up and build a road on it. However, it was converted to a pond instead when it was realized that the existing quarry had rugged granite outcrops and a contrasting backdrop of green hills that gave it a pleasant look. Soon, the surrounding areas were also beautified and made accessible by placing granite blocks on the retaining walls and adding footpaths, lights and seating.
In 1996, the Urban Redevelopment Authority linked the Town Park and Nature Parks via park connectors to the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and Sungei Pandan to enhance the residential landscape for the area around Yishun and Bukit Batok.
The Park is located in Bukit Gombak, at Bukit Batok East Avenue 5, and is a 5 minutes walk from Bukit Gombak MRT Station. Besides being used for exercise and walks, the town park has also been used as a stage for Chinese opera, dance and music performances such as the Heroine of the Water Margin. The park has also been suggested as an alternative destination for tourists wishing to see a different side of Singapore.
There has also been reports about The Mysterious Catfish, Havskatt that lives in the murky waters of Xiao Guilin.
The 42-hectare park has two dome-shaped shelters for protection against sun or rain.
This park is divided in 3 parts:The left side part (as viewed from Bukit Batok East Ave 5) is a bank to the lake and comprises trees, grass plains and stone seats. This part featured a nature trekking track in the trees behind the lake, but is closed off now.
The middle part has one shelter with stone benches to sit and several stone seats.
The right side part also has a similar shelter and stone seats. A bus stop is just next to this part of the park.
The middle and right side part are located just behind the road (Bukit Batok East Ave 5). These parts are built as retaining walls for the lake. The left side part is not connected to the other parts and is accessible by the roadside. The middle and right side are connected internally by a small path and these two parts are also accessible by the roadside.
This park is a favourite spot with shutter bugs intending upon Nature Photography, Anglers fishing in the lake, picnickers and joggers.
Part of the Little Guilin Park, the Bukit Gombak Trail was created through the national Parks Board's Adopt-A-Park Scheme with the former Sembawang-Hong Kah Community Development Council and Bukit Gombak Community Club Youth Executive committee in 1999. It was a nature walk through the park, with directional signposts located at several points. According to the National Parks Board, these lookout points offered magnificent aerial perspectives of the lake and a bird's eye view of the surrounding estate. In 2007, following landslides, the National Parks Board permanently closed the trail.The park is 5 minutes' walk from Bukit Gombak MRT Station.
SMRT operates bus service number looping from Bukit Batok Bus Interchange.